|Publication number||US4732435 A|
|Application number||US 06/928,167|
|Publication date||Mar 22, 1988|
|Filing date||Nov 7, 1986|
|Priority date||Nov 7, 1986|
|Also published as||CA1303111C|
|Publication number||06928167, 928167, US 4732435 A, US 4732435A, US-A-4732435, US4732435 A, US4732435A|
|Inventors||Curtis J. Bailey, Richard A. Heck, Richard Waisanen|
|Original Assignee||Whirlpool Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (17), Classifications (6), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to refrigeration apparatus, and in particular to crisper drawer structure for use in refrigerators and the like.
2. Description of the Background Art
It is conventional in refrigerators to provide one or more crisper drawers in the bottom of the refrigeration space within the cabinet. The drawers are conventionally movably carried on guides so as to permit their withdrawal from the refrigeration space when the front door of the refrigerator is opened, thereby providing to the user access to vegetables and the like stored in the crisper drawers. To maintain the crispness of the stored food, it is desirable to close the top of the drawer in the storage position within the refrigerated space.
In one form, the drawer is provided with a cover movable with the drawer which must be removed when the drawer is moved to the access position. It has also been conventional to utilize a superjacent shelf to define a fixed cover, the drawer being removed from under the fixed shelf cover when moved outwardly to the access position.
It has further been conventional to provide, in the door selectively closing the refrigerated space, a plurality of inwardly extending shelves for providing facilitated access to objects placed on the shelves when the door is swung to the open position. It has been conventional to include a lower shelf adjacent the crisper drawer. In one form, the crisper drawer is extended forwardly sufficiently to underlie the drawer shelf. In such structure, however, there has been a serious problem in that the user may place objects on the projecting portion of the cover when the door is in the open position, which objects tend to damage the shelf when the door is swung to the closed position without removing the objects from the projecting portion.
It has further been known to provide overlying shelves for crisper drawers wherein the front edge of the overlying fixed shelf is angled downwardly.
The present invention comprehends an improved refrigerator structure wherein the crisper drawer extends into underlying relationship to a shelf on the door. A cover member is movably mounted to overlie the front portion of the crisper drawer extending into underlying relationship with a shelf on the refrigerator door when the refrigerator door is in the closed position.
The cover member is positioned so as to define means for effectively preventing retention of articles thereon when covering the forward portion of the crisper drawer, with the crisper drawer in the storage position. By preventing such retention of articles thereon, damage to the overlying door shelf from striking such articles is effectively precluded.
The cover member is movable to a different position as a result of the crisper drawer being moved from the storage position to the access position. In the illustrated embodiment, the cover member is swung to a generally horizontal disposition when the crisper drawer is brought to the access position.
In the illustrated embodiment, the cover member is pivotally mounted in the refrigerator cabinet and, more specifically, in the illustrated embodiment, is pivotally mounted to the crisper drawer guides slidably supporting the crisper drawer in the refrigerator cabinet for selective disposition in the storage and access positions.
In the illustrated embodiment, the front portion of the crisper drawer is defined by an inclined top edge against which the movable cover member abuts in the storage disposition of the crisper drawer.
The cover member is automatically swung upwardly from the angled disposition as a result of the crisper drawer being moved forwardly to the access position and is automatically returned to the angled disposition overlying the front portion of the crisper drawer when it is returned to the storage disposition. Thus, any articles inadvertently placed on the generally horizontally extending cover member in the access position of the crisper drawer will tend to be removed therefrom automatically when the crisper drawer is returned to the storage position prior to the closing of the refrigerator door.
The angled arrangement of the cover member inhibits glare from light reflecting therefrom to enhance the viewing of articles in the drawer.
The refrigerator structure of the present invention is extremely simple and economical of construction while yet providing the improved features discussed above.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigeration apparatus having a crisper drawer structure embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged right side elevation, with a portion shown in vertical section to illustrate in greater detail the arrangement of the crisper drawer structure;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the crisper drawer structure;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical section illustrating the disposition of the cover member in the storage and access position of the crisper drawer; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary enlarged transverse vertical section illustrating the pivotal mounting of the cover member.
In the illustrative embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, a refrigeration apparatus generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a refrigerator/freezer apparatus having a cabinet 11 defining an above-freezing temperature space 12 and a freezer space 13 selectively closed by front doors 14 and 15, respectively.
The present invention is concerned with the relationship between a front portion 16 of a crisper drawer 17 slidably mounted in the lower portion of the refrigerator space 12 between guide wall portions 18 and 19.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the refrigerator space door 14 is provided with a plurality of vertically spaced, inwardly projecting shelves 20, including a lowermost shelf 21. As shown, the shelf 21 may be disposed to be closely superjacent the front portion 16 of crisper drawer 17 when door 14 is in the closed disposition.
As best seen in FIG. 3, crisper drawer 17 comprises an upwardly opening drawer having sidewalls 22 and 23, a vertical rear wall 24, and a front wall 25. The upper edge 26 of the sidewalls 22 and 23, at the front portion 16 of the crisper drawer, is inclined forwardly downwardly, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The rear portion 27 of the crisper drawer is received under the lowermost refrigerator space shelf 28 when the crisper drawer is moved rearwardly to the storage disposition illustrated in FIG. 2.
The front portion 16 of the crisper drawer is closed by a cover member 29 pivotally mounted to the guide walls 18 and 19 by pivots 30.
Front wall 25 of the crisper drawer defines a top edge 31 which is selectively abutted by the lower edge 32 of a downturned front flange 33 of the cover member when the cover member is arranged to close the front portion 16 of the crisper drawer in the storage position, as illustrated in FIG. 3, and as shown in broken lines in FIG. 4.
Thus, in the stored disposition of crisper drawer 17, the top of the crisper drawer is closed by the overlying refrigerator shelf 28 and the cover member 29. In this disposition, the cover member is angled downwardly forwardly so as to preclude the placement of articles thereon when the door 14 is swung to the open position. The cover member automatically swings to the horizontal disposition illustrated in full lines in FIG. 4 when the crisper drawer is brought forwardly to the access position wherein access to articles in the crisper drawer may be had through the uncovered front portion 16, as illustrated in FIG. 4.
When the drawer is returned to the storage disposition, the cover member automatically returns to the drawer-closing position of FIG. 3, thereby causing any articles which may have inadvertently been placed on the cover member when the drawer was in the forward access position, to drop therefrom prior to the closing of door 14 and thereby effectively precluding damage to the shelf 21, which would otherwise engage articles placed on the cover member 29 when the shelf 21 is brought to the superjacent disposition illustrated in FIG. 2.
In the illustrated embodiment, cover member 29 is formed of a transparent synthetic resin suitable for use in refrigerators. Thus, visual inspection of the contents of the crisper drawer may be had with the drawer in the storage disposition through the transparent cover member. Further, the inclined arrangement of the cover member in the storage disposition effectively precludes glare from interfering with the viewing of the articles in the crisper drawer by eliminating reflected glare.
The improved crisper drawer structure of the present invention provides for improved utilization of the refrigerator space 12 and provides improved viewability of the contents of the crisper drawer by the user.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the sidewalls 22 and 23 of the crisper drawer define upwardly projecting edge portions 34 and 35, respectively, between which the cover member 29 is received to effectively sealingly close the front portion 16 of the crisper drawer in the storage disposition.
The crisper drawer structure of the present invention is extremely simple and economical, while yet providing for facilitated viewability of the crisper drawer and effectively avoiding damage to the front door of the refrigerator by inadvertent impact of the drawer shelf 21 against articles on the cover member for the drawer.
The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US3172714 *||Sep 28, 1962||Mar 9, 1965||Gen Motors Corp||Refrigerating apparatus|
|US3259269 *||May 10, 1965||Jul 5, 1966||Shell Oil Co||Stackable bin container|
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|CH28923A *||Title not available|
|1||*||Sanyo sale literature 9 pages, no date.|
|2||Sanyo sale literature-9 pages, no date.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5947573 *||Nov 12, 1997||Sep 7, 1999||Whirlpool Corporation||Refrigerator and compartment therefor|
|US6969357||Jun 7, 2000||Nov 29, 2005||Oridion Breathid Ltd.||Gas analyzer calibration checking device|
|US7350886||Oct 21, 2002||Apr 1, 2008||Thetford Corporation||Refrigeration storage bin including flip-top cover|
|US8011744 *||Feb 26, 2008||Sep 6, 2011||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.||Refrigerator with tray cover|
|US8146383 *||Oct 26, 2005||Apr 3, 2012||Dometic Gmbh||Cooling appliance|
|US8172346 *||Jul 24, 2009||May 8, 2012||General Electric Company||Articulated sealing surface|
|US8348362||Feb 25, 2010||Jan 8, 2013||Electrolux Home Products, Inc.||Pivoting lid for refrigerator door|
|US20050073226 *||Oct 21, 2002||Apr 7, 2005||Antos John M||Refrigeration storage bin including flip-top cover|
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|US20120146477 *||Aug 23, 2010||Jun 14, 2012||BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH||Refrigeration device with a vegetable drawer|
|DE19500369C5 *||Jan 9, 1995||Feb 21, 2008||AEG Hausgeräte GmbH||Kühlschrank mit Gemüsebehälter|
|EP1451510A2 *||Oct 21, 2002||Sep 1, 2004||Thetford Corporation||Refrigerator storage bin including flip-top cover|
|WO1999043998A1 *||Feb 24, 1999||Sep 2, 1999||Itoh Masaki||Storage container for use in refrigerator|
|WO2000013557A1 *||Sep 8, 1998||Mar 16, 2000||Mobelco Ind Sa||Automatic drawer with specially designed walls for opening the door when pulled|
|WO2015031563A1 *||Aug 28, 2014||Mar 5, 2015||Edsal Manufacturing Company, Inc.||Tool chest drawer with clear view feature|
|U.S. Classification||312/311, 312/330.1, 312/274|
|Dec 8, 1986||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, A DE. CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:BAILEY, CURTIS J.;HECK, RICHARD A.;WAISANEN, RICHARD;REEL/FRAME:004641/0521
Effective date: 19861028
|Jun 10, 1991||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Oct 31, 1995||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 24, 1996||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jun 4, 1996||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19960327